A few months ago I became one of the local Ambassadors for the TriRock Clearwater race. I was very excited to help promote this new triathlon that featured bands on the course, a red carpet finish and bling for all finishers!
Race weekend started for me very early Saturday morning. Gina and I headed up to Clearwater to work at the Fit2Run tent at the expo. We got all our gear and bikes stored in the hotel room, before walking the two blocks to the expo/triathlon area. It was a perfect spot, right in front of the beach! A beautiful day out for an expo. We both had fun working and talking with the athletes who showed up to shop and pick up there packets. After working until 2pm, we headed to the beach for some relaxation and sun time. After the beach, we headed to this restaurant/bar near our hotel. The name: Cooters. :) We took a seat at the bar, with the intention of having just one drink. The bar tender, Patrick, heard it was my birthday (recently) and decided to give us a couple of Strawberry Shortcake drinks. They were pretty yummy! Melissa, Lauren, Katie and her parents, decided to come over, so we all got a table and had dinner. We had a yummy dinner before heading back to the hotel for a good nights sleep.
|Dawn, me and Gina before the race.|
The sand was so cold! We were kicked out of transition at 6:30. I had almost an hour to stand around in the cold before my wave started! There was a great rock band up on the pier playing music, which helped to get us all pumped up and ready to race. Dawn's wave was going out early, so we stood near the water to cheer her on as she ran into the water. Since I had some time, I decided to head back up to the bathroom for a quick pit stop before getting myself into the corral. I got back in time to see Gina head out. I finished getting myself ready. Pulling the wetsuit all the way up, putting my ear plugs in and putting the swim cap on. Soon enough my wave was heading into the water!
|Pretty sure this is in T1. Getting my bike|
off the rack and about to head out. :)
Bike, 13.4 miles: The bike course is very similar to the run course of the Iron Girl half marathon. I knew to expect bridges! We got in a couple of flat miles before hitting the first of 3 tall bridges. I made decent time getting up that first bridge. I even managed to pass a couple of people. I had fun speeding down the other side. We had lots of right and left turns through the neighborhood after the bridge. Thankfully that was over pretty quick and we were able to build up some speed. It didn't seem like I was riding as fast as I normally do (though finish time says I was) but I didn't let that discourage me and just kept peddling as hard as I could. Soon we were at the second big bridge. This was my only frustating part of the race. Just as I was starting up the bridge, this woman started to pass me. But she only got her front tire past mine before slowing to my speed. The rules say that she is now ahead of me and I must drop back or get a penalty. What! I didn't want to slow down going up hill! She finally got ahead of me enough that I could drop behind and pass her on her left. There were lots of other people coming up on my left too, which made it kind of crazy. This section was not closed to traffic, so we only had a bike lane to ride in. Thankfully I got clear of her, made it to the top and was able to speed down the other side. We were now back on the Island. A nice long stretch of road heading toward Clearwater beach, with a bit of headwind! Made it to the last, steep bridge, powered over and headed toward transition. Just before reaching it, I hear my name called. Gina is heading out on the run. Made it to my transition spot, quick work racking my bike and grabbing my run gear before heading out of there. Bike - 43:36. T2 - 50 seconds
Run: 3.1 miles: My legs felt surprising good as I started the run. I felt like my pace wasn't too hard (8:42 min mile), so I decided to try and hold it for a while. We had a short out and back in the lane next to the returning triathletes on their bikes. I was able to see Gina here. She was looking strong! We ran back by the transition area and finish line before running towards that first bridge we rode over on the bike. Thankfully the sprint distance runners were going to turn around before that bridge! The longer distance racers were going to be running over it! The run was still going great. It was sunny, but not hot. I never felt overheated. As I was running through the very narrow water stop, that was just before mile 2, I felt someone push me in the middle of my back, What!! The guy did say "sorry" after he passed me, but geesh, he needed to back off! There was another band here playing 80's songs. Love it! :) I saw Gina again before getting to the turn around. Heading back I saw Elaine and then Teresa. I was very happy as I turned the corner and started running down the red carpet. I gave the race announcer a high-five as I ran passed her and then raised my arms in the air as I crossed the finish line. Hooray, I finished my 6th sprint triathlon! :) Run - 27:18.
|Me and Gina after the race!|
I've been having fun doing triathlons this year, but I'm happy to take a break and focus on running. Lots of races on my schedule. :)
|Bling, shirt and age group award mug!|
|Me with Kristen,|
my ambassador boss. :)